The comeback season is stressful. Whether you’re a seasoned ARMY or this is going to be your first comeback season, it is always a busy time. Here are my personal tips for the upcoming comeback this August 24th (KST).
Please be aware that both hashtags and phrases can be trended. ARMY is large enough to trend phrases without even meaning to. Even if it doesn’t reach the top trending list, when you search for a term on Twitter, it will automatically suggest the highest trended phrase associated with the term. Uncommon word combinations trend more easily and with a fandom as large and active as ARMY, this sometimes results in accidentally trending very unpleasant combinations.
Censoring is simple. For example, if you want to censor the word “BTS”, you can use “B*S”. It is recommended to always censor other artists’ or companies’ names unless we intend to trend the artist’s name. If there is a fandom issue, please censor the names of the members/BTS/Big Hit in order to prevent them from trending as well.
Anti’s will sometimes try to trend negative phrases for search terms – thereby luring ARMY’s to unintentionally promote the phrase even further by engaging with them in fights. If you see this, do not engage. The appropriate response is to gather support to trend an alternative phrase to overpower the other search phrases.
Dealing with Anti’s, Trolls, and Problematic ARMY
Not all people who appear to be ARMY are actually ARMY. Anti’s often make accounts to appear as ARMY to try to get ARMY to turn against each other. The account’s date of creation, number of followers, and original tweets could help ARMY weed out the most obvious, but this is not foolproof. Foller.me is one tool that can help you gain insight into a Twitter account’s activity.
Don’t believe anything you see without proper proof even if it comes from someone you trust in the fandom. Do not always take screenshots at face value, they are extremely easy to manipulate or fake. If you see a claim, the worst thing that you can do is address or bring awareness to a claim that does not have sufficient evidence and accidentally give it clout.
On Twitter, clout is everything. If you don’t have other people to spread your ideas, they will be pushed down by the Twitter algorithm. Twitter creates a “social bubble” and will show you whatever it believes will keep you on the site the longest. People who say rude things to a small number of followers only get attention if you help them, even if it’s unintentional.
Remember, Twitter is not your friend; it is a company with its own agenda.
Mclauchlan has suspended his Twitter account, but says: “People keep saying ‘what’s wrong, why is there so much abuse, why can’t Twitter fix it?’ I kind of think that this is how it’s supposed to work. It’s by design.
“When you’re using Twitter you’re doing kind of a strange thing. You’re generating content for this multi-billion dollar media company for free, but you’re also the product that they’re selling.”
Dr Gilbert says the platform itself is definitely part of the problem.
“People have strong views about things, but the platform exacerbates an attack mentality. It’s anonymous, there’s comfort in a group, so it ramps up…”
…A lot of the fights happening on Twitter now – and on the internet generally – seem to be less about ideologies or politics, but about who gets to have the loudest voice.
Jarrod Gilbert says the way Twitter has given voice to people who have previously had none is a beautiful thing, but it can have some perverse outcomes.
“Most often people we hear from publicly have got a reason to be heard publicly – because they’re very informed on an issue or they’re very talented. Whereas Twitter is an equaliser, which is beautifully democratic, but it does mean there can be some loud voices with the minds of mice.”
– “How to Avoid Twitter’s Toxic Tangles“, RNZ
It may be difficult to believe, but ignoring things is most often the best course of action, even if it’s rude or a lie. Antis depend on us to blow up issues within in the fandom and make a mess. Quoting or screenshotting does not automatically mean that you are safe from giving them clout. You are still giving clout to their ideas. In addition, you can not be sure that all of your followers will react similarly.
Listen to me, ARMY.
The most powerful tool in your hands isn’t negativity.
It’s not your ability to shout anyone down or shame them.
The most powerful tool you have to use against clout-seekers is silence.
What you respond to in ANY way gains clout.
Think. Learn. Be wiser.
— 💜 msbeatrice 💜 (@msbeatrice_81) July 9, 2018
Be wary of Curious Cat (CC). If you are not familiar with it, it is a platform which can be linked to Twitter where anyone can send you anonymous questions and you can reply to them in a tweet. It is popular among I-ARMY and there are various reasons why people use it. Just be aware that antis utilize this platform very much. Do not trust anything said on CC. Because nothing said there can be trusted, it makes no sense to publicly respond to problematic messages from it. You can turn off anonymous and/or mute certain words to help with hate messages.
The best way to spread knowledge of fandom issues and accounts to report is to use direct messages. The media is especially keen on picking up rumors about BTS, so there is no sense in making it any easier for them. Ignoring tweets is not the same as ignoring issues. Taking the discussion to a better place, such as DM, doesn’t just help fandom image. It also reduces confusion and negativity in the fandom. Not everything is relevant to everyone and requires a response from everyone in the fandom.
Not everyone who causes issues in the fandom is an anti. Not everyone who causes issues in the fandom is the same, even if they have similar ideas or methods. Not everyone who causes issues in the fandom means to harm us. It is tempting to attack, whether they are an anti or not. The line between education and hurt is very thin.
“A Twitter stoush is a classic example of how people can look at the same event through their own lenses or their own biases and see completely different things.
“What feels like an attack to one person, feels like completely polite engagement to another.”
Mr Matthews says the kind of “language policing” he wrote about can be genuinely useful, citing a piece by Stephanie Rodgers.
“What I thought was an innocuous joke, to her was one of many many examples of that kind of thing. Not from me, but from the culture. And I thought ‘that’s a real eye-opener.'”
– “How to Avoid Twitter’s Toxic Tangles“, RNZ
Promoting through the Charts
Learn how to properly stream, Shazam, request for radioplay, and buy so that your efforts are counted in the charts. Remember to always tag @BTS_twt on Twitter or @bts.bighitofficial on Instagram whenever possible in order to maintain our #1 spot on Top Social Artist. [ Note: we will update the information on this so that it will be specific to the comeback when we have more information. ] Here are the current goals for the comeback. The main charts we focus on are Billboard 200 and Hot 100 in the USA, and Gaon, MelON, Naver Music, Genie, Soribida, and Bugs in South Korea.
Shadowbans are “silent bans”. From the user’s point of view, nothing looks wrong with their account, except they may be getting less interaction from followers. However, if the user logs out or uses a different account, none of their tweets will be visible.
Shadowbans are usually used to punish people for swearing or posting spam. What is considered spam is not really clear because most sites don’t openly admit to shadowbanning. On Twitter, it is suggested not to use more than a total of four hashtags or mentions in a single tweet, and to wait 2-4 minutes in between tweets. This includes retweets as well.
Most shadowbans are lifted in 1-3 days. There are not many options besides waiting for it to end because there is no known way to appeal shadowbans. To check if you have one on your account, use these tools for Twitter or Instagram. You can also log out and try to find your posts.
Websites and Apps
My favorite free timezone converter app is World Clock Time Widget for iOS. As its name implies, you can set up a widget on your phone and easily see many different time zones of your choosing. You can also see the times a few hours ahead or behind.
Another free timezone converter which you can view on your browser without downloading anything is the Time and Date’s World Clock Converter. Although it is less sleek, it gets the job done just as well.
It is a good idea to make sure all of your accounts are secure at all times, however, it is especially important during comeback season because anti’s usually intensify their sabotaging efforts.
Password protection is one of the most vital aspects of account security. I personally use and recommend LastPass as a free, secure password generator and storage service. It is available as an app for IOS and Android, as well as a website and Chrome extension for desktop computers. You may upgrade to get even more features, but the free features are very extensive still. It has a “security test” feature that you can use to see how secure all of your passwords are as a whole based on a variety of factors.
You may believe that viruses can only be acquired by visiting shady websites or downloading content from them, but you’d be wrong. Just one of the various methods of stealing data is called phishing, which can target your computer with just a link with a normal appearance. My personal favorite cybersecurity software is Bitdefender. It has a free version for Windows, Mac, and Android users with a great variety of protections compared to other free options.
Personal Virtual Private Network (VPN)
To upgrade your security to the next level, a VPN is a must. To understand how VPN’s protect your data, you must first understand the basics of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. To put it simply, your internet data is attached to an IP address, which, most importantly, can be easily be used to get information on your specific location and cable provider. As an example of this can used is that some websites automatically block content based on your region.
Knowing this, VPN’s protect you by giving you a false IP address. Depending on how many servers (locations) your provider has, you can make websites believe that you are from anywhere in the world. There are many options, but my personal suggestion is Nord VPN. Unfortunately, there is not a free version. Be careful when choosing a VPN provider, and remember that your data is only as secure as the provider’s company. Please also note that authorities can get access to this information if needed for legal reasons.
Make sure you get a lot of sleep before the comeback because you will probably lose a bit. Prepare some to have some tissues, pillows, blankets, snacks, chargers, and comfortable clothes within an arm’s reach. Try to take care of any obligations, such as schoolwork, beforehand, if possible. It also may be a good idea to prepare to stockpile lighthearted videos (such as Run episodes) to have in case they are needed. You may want to warn your friends and family in advance that you will be a reclusive emotional wreck for a while. And don’t forget to enjoy yourself! That is what being an ARMY is really about and what BTS wants you to take home the most.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article only represent the views of the author and do not represent the views of BTS ARMY Guide, its partners, the sources used, and/or BigHit Entertainment.